Boeing is continuing to expand the Indian Navy’s long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare capabilities with the delivery of the country’s 10th P-8I. The patrol aircraft is an integral part of the Indian Navy’s fleet and has surpassed 30,000 flight hours since it was inducted in 2013. This is the second aircraft to be delivered under an option contract for four additional aircraft that the Indian Ministry of Defence awarded in 2016. The Indian Navy was the first international customer for the P-8, which is also operated by the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force.
In addition to unmatched maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the P-8I has been deployed to assist during disaster relief and humanitarian missions. Boeing supports India’s growing P-8I fleet by providing training of Indian Navy flight crews, spare parts, ground support equipment and field service representative support. Boeing’s integrated logistics support has enabled a high state of fleet readiness at the lowest possible cost.
The P-8I deals are a sign of India’s increasing weapons procurement from the US, which has touched $17 billion till date. This procurement is under an option clause as part of the earlier procurement of 8 P8Is between 2013 and 2015 worth $2.1 billion. It also comes in the backdrop of US President Donald Trump’s India visit on February 24, which will focus on strengthening defence cooperation between the two nations. Since induction six and half years ago, the P8-Is clocked 25,000 flying hours in December last year. Based at INS Rajali, a naval air station in Tamil Nadu, the fleet is the navy’s eyes in the sky and gives it a significant edge in the Indian Ocean Region
Boeing is currently completing construction on the Training Support & Data Handling Centre at INS Rajali, Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu and a secondary maintenance training center at the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology, Kochi, Kerala as part of a training and support package contract signed in 2019. This new indigenous, ground-based training will allow Indian Navy crew to increase mission proficiency in a shorter time while reducing on-aircraft training time resulting in increased aircraft availability.